The Fast XP and FAST SF are two helmet options available through Ops Core. They’re designed to be worn in tactical environments and are typically the most sought after by tactical teams.

When shopping for Ops Core helmets, you may be faking yourself, which helmet is the better option for me. You’ll often see terms like EEP Padding vs Vented Lux Liners and OCC dials vs Worm dials when buying helmets. But what does it all mean?

In this article, we’ll explain the key differences between the Fast SF vs FAST XP and show you what each option means so you’ll be confident you’re getting the best helmet when it’s time to purchase.

Key Differences

The main difference between the FAST XP and FAST SF is the weight and cut.

Fast SF

The Fast SF is designed for ultimate protection. The helmet cut is 16mm higher than the Fast XP with an 8% weight reduction for a lightweight fit. The overall system weight is around 2.40 lbs in the large size. As you'll notice, compared to the Fast XP, this is may not seem like a big difference but when you're wearing your headset for long periods of time, the lighter the better.

The FAST SF also offers optimized coverage for advanced stability. The SF is equipped with the MBS modular bungee shroud reduces snag hazards and interference. If you’re using the helmet with night vision binoculars, the carabiner clips allow for easy attachment.

Fast XP

The Fast XP is also a high cut design similar to the Fast SF but is more heavier overall. 

Medium 2.68 lbs
Large 2.81 lbs
X-Large 3.02 lbs
XX-Large 3.11 lbs

The XP is designed with a hybrid composite of carbon for acceptable protection. Lastly the XP offers a 3-point skeleton shroud with a Velcro loop, hook bungees, and mounts for night vision binoculars.



We usually see price as a deciding factor in which tactical equipment people purchase. The Ops Core FAST SF helmet is more expensive than the FAST XP helmet. This is due to the design and fit.

Ops Core helmets are offered in two models depending on use, carbon composite (we’ll talk about this coming up) and ballistic. Carbon composite helmets are cheaper.

You’ll also notice that the suspension and retention play a factor in price and that the vented lux liner is just slightly higher than the EEP padding.


What is a Carbon Composite Helmet?

Carbon composite helmets are to be worn in non-ballistic environments and are not rated for gunfire. Although carbon composite helmets still offer protection from impacts like debris, you should purchase the ballistic version of the XP or SF if you are wearing your helmet in gunfire.

Carbon composite helmets are cheaper than ballistic helmets.


Suspension and Retention

Ops core helmets are offered in Vented Lux Liner and EEP Padding (see note below) with an OCC dial. The option you choose will be based on personal preference.

Vented Lux Liner

I’ve heard from customers that the Vented Lux Liner is the most comfortable liner they’ve worn. The vented lux liner offers a full coverage impact layer that is designed for shockwave attenuation and low absorbency pads for breathable overall comfort.

This liner has a pad system that is composed of individual pads that are fully customizable to fit your head. Lastly, the Vented Lux Liner reduces heat stress.

The Vented lux liner is about $100 more than the EEP Padding.

If you experience fatigue and are often uncomfortable while wearing helmets for long periods of time, the vented lux liner is the option for you.


EEP Padding

*2022 Update: As of June 2022, Ops Core has discontinued the EEP Padding in the Fast XP to move towards a common platform and use the same high cut trim (Vented Lux Liner) used in the Fast XR, SF, and RF1.

EEP Padding is a lightweight multi-impact ventilated liner that seals out air, dust, and moisture for a breathable fit. Unlike the vented lux liner, the EEP padding is pre molded to the shape of your head.

If you’re not concerned about the extra comfort, the EEP padding is an option for you. There is no option for the EEP padding in the Fast SF helmets and is only available in Fast XP helmets*


Worm Dial vs OCC Dial

Worm dial vs OCC dial comparison

2022 Update: As of January 2022, Ops Core no longer offers helmets with worm dial in an effort to move towards a more standardized and comfortable low profile OCC dial and universal fit band. 

The helmets fit can either be tightened or loosened by either the worm dial or OCC dial. This is often decided based on your personal preference.  

The worm dial is offered for quick adjustment and is the most preferred by users. From the picture above, the worm dial spins to adjust while the OCC dial is a spinning circle dial.

The worm dial offers its operators a level of adjustment and customization that helps stability when wearing additional equipment like night vision goggles.

The OCC Dial gives you the ability to tighten or loosen with more torque.



Ops Core helmets come in a range of sizes to fit any head size and are available in M, L, XL, XXL head sizes.

Medium: 20 7/8 to 22 In

Large: 22 to 23 ¼ In

XL: 23 ¼ to 24 3/8 in

XXL: 24 3/8 to 25 3/8 in

How to Measure

To measure your head for proper fit of your Ops Core helmet, Ops Core offers its own head fast fit kit, but you can use a measuring tape too. If using a measuring tape, please reference the helmet sizing guide below.

To get the most accurate size, you’ll want to measure around your head just slightly above your eyebrows and ears. If your measurement falls between two sizes, choose the larger size.

FAST Helmet Size Guide Ops Core

Eye Dominance Selection

The helmets often come standard with right eye dominance unless stated otherwise when placing your order. You should choose the version based on your dominant shooting hand.

The right eye dominance has the chin strap buckle on the left and used for right-handed and right eye dominant shooters.

The left eye dominance with the chin strap buckle on the right is for left-handed shooters and left eye dominant shooters.


Additional Accessories

Ops Core helmets are often paired with NVG (Night vision goggles) and headsets. Ops Core offers an ARC rail attachment that is used to attach a headset to an Ops Core Helmet. ARC rails give extra support and make it feel less cramped when wearing the helmet and headset.

Night vision goggles can be mounted towards the front of the helmet and the worm dial and occ dial help adjust your heads stability when you wear them.


Hopefully this helped you get more familiar with the difference between the FAST SF and the FAST XP helmet, and the different options mean like worm dial vs occ dial, and the vented lux liner vs EEP padding. You should now be able to confidently pick out your helmet that is right for you.

Still have further questions, drop them in the comments below.


First Source Wireless is an authorized dealer of Ops Core helmets, headsets, and accessories. If you’re interested in finding out more about how Ops Core can help improve your team’s communication and protection, chat with us at 800-991-4569, live chat, or 

Last Updated: June 2022

TAYLOR THOMAS is a Marketing Manager at First Source Wireless. With her experience in critical communications, she helped public safety professionals enhance their communication through the help of two-way radios and headsets.

Ballistic helmetsFast sfFast xpHelmetsOps core


First Source Wireless

First Source Wireless

I recommend measuring your head with a measuring tape around your head’s circumference and comparing it to the sizing chart from Ops-Core. This will give you the most accurate sizing as hat size differs from helmet size and doesn’t compare. On the other hand, Ops Core sells the Fast Fit Kit on their website that tells you the exact size you’ll need.



I wear a size 7 1/8 hat, should I get the medium or large size helmet?

First Source Wireless

First Source Wireless

Hey Doc,
Thanks for your comment. You may have misread the disclaimer. You’re correct, Ops-Core does offer the OCC dial in both the Fast XP and Fast SF. As of Jan 2022, they got rid of the worm dial option and only have the OCC dial option. If you bought the helmet prior to January, you were probably still able to get one with the worm dial but moving forward that’s discontinued.



Some of the content is incorrect. I happen to have a XP Ballistic helmet with the vented lux liner and ooc dial which came straight from ops-core.



A big problem for me is that my head is apparently really hard to fit. Sometimes I need a L, sometimes a XL. It depends on the manufacturer.

If I were to buy one and it turns out I should have bought the other, can I exchange it?

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